Thursday, May 31, 2007

Making Sweet, Sweet Love To My Television, or My Plans For The Weekend

Thanks to those of you who emailed to tell me that this is on VH1 Friday night:

40 Most Soft-sational Soft Rock Songs
They're the titans of tenderness... the sultans of sensitivity... the monsters of mellow, and we're counting down 40 of their greatest songs. So dim that lava lamp, pour a chalice of white zin, and cuddle up...

And wouldn't you know, at the same time, the Sox will be playing the Yankees on NESN.

I'm faced with a dilemma of epic proportions. Lionel or Youk? Dear God, it's like Sophie's Choice. If Sophie could watch one live and DVR the other, that is.

That's called having your cake and eating Peter Cetera too. Or, uh, something like that.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

How The Public Schools Failed Me, or I'm So Dumb That It's Actually Kind of Frightening

The fifth graders have been participating in the state standardized testing for several weeks now. There were always bubbles to fill in, blue books to write in, and number two pencils to sharpen when I was in school, but it's much more extensive these days. I've been periodically sitting with my kids to help them with parts of it. I thought it was bad enough that I had to review fractions so that I had a clue going into the math portion, but today's test was social studies, or what will henceforth be referred to as the twenty six multiple choice questions that made me realize that I'm not the intelligent, functioning member of society that just this morning I believed myself to be.

When it comes to questions about historical events, you either know that shit or you don't. Turns out? I don't. On many, many more counts than I'm prepared to admit. The Aztecs? The Pequot War? Lewis and Clark? Not to mention the fact that the only reason I remember Thomas Jefferson's affiliation with the Louisiana Purchase is from a random memory of learning disabled Mallory Keaton, who, after studying for days on end for a history test, yelled in class, "THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE WAS DIFFICULT FOR THOMAS JEFFERSON!" I don't remember why it was so difficult. No discount? I do, however, remember that a guy named Skippy had a crush on her. If you did a scan of my brain the only thing you'd find is Kimberly Drummond and Mike Seaver playing Operation. People, I need to buy some history books and READ THEM.

Or maybe there's something I could learn by watching the History Channel. Or the Discovery Channel. Or VH1. Wait a second. Lindsay Lohan did WHAT to her hair?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Years Go By, I'm Looking Through A Girly Magazine

I went to Store 24 for gum and Diet Pepsi and apparently lost my mind, because I came out with the gum, DP, Cosmo, People, Us Weekly and Allure. Why? Especially why COSMO? I don't know. I had just been thinking about how lame it is that I haven't made any time for reading this year when I have so freakin' many books that I want to get to. And... this is the solution?

I love this shit, though. Ricki Lake lost more than 100 pounds and Us listed a few days' worth of the food that she eats. One of her breakfasts was pastel frittata with shiitake mushrooms, Gruyere and fresh herbs. Uh. Yeah. Sounds just like the cereal bar that I eat in my car on the way to work. It should be easy to emulate her success strategies and work in a little PASTEL FRITTATA during my commute.

Allure and People are pretty straightforward, as always: summer products and lame human interest stories, respectively. But oh Cosmo, you glossy vixen. You almost feel bad for it, like the trampy girl in your freshman dorm who meant well but would've fucked your futon if it said she was pretty. Reading it now is how I felt reading Teen and YM when I was 13: Should I be laughing dismissively or frantically searching for my prom date?

Anyway, Cosmo taught me what his text messages really mean, and that when he texts "What are u up 2 L8R?" it means "Wanna meet up and go home together?" (It doesn't mean "What are you up to later?" I'm so naive.) They also taught me how to cuddle by using spoons to illustrate different positions for different moods. If you put your spoonhead on his spoonlap, it makes him feel manly.

Ashlee Simpson, who apparently brought a picture of her sister into the plastic surgeon and said "Please, as close as you can get me to this" is on the cover, along with the words "75 Sex Tricks: They're So Hot, This Magazine May Burst Into Flames." For the love of God, Cosmo, is there really anything left? I could understand if we were still in college with the requisite jar of honey dust in the top drawer, but do you really have close to 100 tricks to share with women in their 30s and beyond who give new meaning to been there, done that, bought the t-shirt?

But the article was actually quite entertaining because it was all tips from men. Call me childish, but the wording was the best part. Angelo, 31 enjoys the occasional "delicious thrill." Oscar, 20 talked about "nibbling at the swollen head." Earl, 26 enjoys the ocean because "the cresting waves add to the ecstasy." Andrew, 28 has a girlfriend with "hidden reserves of bone-crushing passion." And finally, Billy, 23, urges you to "Come to bed covered in baby oil. You'll be so slick, I won't know which way to do you first."

That's about when I closed the magazine and resolved that this will be the year that I finally finish Anna Karenina.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Still Waiting on That Stereo, By the Way

On Saturday night Matt and I were at a black tie soiree in downtown Boston Stop and Shop buying Mother's Day cards. As usual, I went crazy with glee over the singing cards. The sound quality is so good! One of them plays Truly by Lionel Ritchie! Would someone please send me one of these cards already?!

Apparently I was a little too enthusiastic about them because as we were leaving some guy turned to Matt and said, "You need to buy her a stereo, pal." To which I believe Matt said something to the effect of, "Yeah, really."

Once it sank in that this guy had basically been making fun of us (well, me), Matt proceeded to spend the next two days revisiting this incident and crafting a more clever response. These gems ranged from "I'm not your PAL" to various puns related to musical equipment. The last version that I heard involved lighter fluid and physical violence. I tried to tell him that his actual response was fine in that anything more involved would have made me think he was CRAZY, but he was undaunted in his pursuit of the perfect airtight comeback.

Personally, I think great comebacks are overrated. You always remember the bad ones, anyway. For example, one time in high school I told my mom she was stupid, and she fired back with, "I'll stupid your head." Another favorite of mine was the time that Dave's dad yelled at him, "You're trying to fuck with fire, but fire don't fuck!"

Lesson learned: Next time some random stranger semi-insults you, instead of stewing for days about what you should have said, just tell them you'll [adjective] their head. Guaranteed they'll remember you forever.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Burn, Baby, Burn

In the pre-school today they were having a Mother's Day tea. Pink tablecloths, lilies in vases, little kids adoring their mommies, and me getting my goods seared off. Should I back up?

The plan was for the moms to order a few things off the "menu" and for the kids to bring them what they wanted. Not to sound like Dante from Clerks, but I wasn't even supposed to be there! I just stopped in to say hi! One of the adorably outfitted little girls brought her mom a cup of tea. The kids were only supposed to carry the iced tea, but we weren't paying close enough attention she used Jedi mind tricks on us and picked up a cup of hot tea instead. Then she squeezed her way between me and a table, which I was crouching next to getting another little kid situated with a plate of fruit. Then she lost her grip on the cup and, well, let's just say, lemon zinger indeed.

People, I went DOWN. I couldn't help it. And it became my first true test as a teacher: That moment where you ABSOLUTELY MUST MOTHERFUCKING SWEAR and yet you can't because you're surrounded by the children that you work with and their parents at a flower-drenched portal to hell darling little teddy bear picnic come to life. Turns out that getting boiling water dumped on your business (granted, not a lot, but it doesn't take much) doesn't warrant merely a "shit." It warrants a, "Damn you, DAMN ALL OF YOU!" and angry pointing at no one in particular. Since I was at work, I settled for biting my lip and trying not to whip my pants off right then and there.

The school nurse doesn't get much staff in her office, but I guess it was her lucky day. I've known her for a few years and she's a total sweetheart, which I now believe even more because she insisted on holding an ice pack to my little lady for more time than I care to recall. I'm not sure that I'll ever be able to look at her in quite the same way again; our relationship has definitely moved to the next level. Call me?

The prognosis for my babymaker is good, thanks for asking. With a little time and Aquaphor, we should be back in business in no time. But the first one who calls me Firecrotch is in for it.

Monday, May 07, 2007

I Told The Truth!

YouTube is a ginormous festering cesspool of copyright infringement, to which I say THANK GOD because they just reintroduced me to the most beloved commercial from my childhood. Does anyone remember this one? No one ever seems to, and I always thought it was hys-freakin-terical. Ahh, those wacky Mormon public service announcements. You laugh, but you know what else? You learn.

And, I mean, who can't relate? We all had the crotchety neighbor growing up who scolded us by singing opera.